Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The Walrond family received travel approval this morning!!

WOOHOO! Praying for a Consulate Appointment so we can leave March 15th!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

John 14:18

Monday, February 27, 2012

Man Up!!!!

I am so blessed to have children that are mission-minded! All of our children at some point have traveled to bring hope and help to the hurting. Haiti, Bolivia, Romania, Korea, New Orleans, West Virginia, Cherokee, and Tanzania. It is so refreshing to see the next generation displaying the heart of our Father!

Amazingly, this summer two of our daughters, Kayla and Lauren, will be going on their "dream" trip! July 13th-27th, they will be traveling in both Ethiopia and Uganda on the "Man Up" Tour-- a trip "packed full of adventure to Love and Protect the Fatherless".

Many of you are familiar with some of the ministries they will partner with:

The link at the top and below is to our daughters' website! They have worked and worked...on items to sell to raise the necessary $8000 for both of them to travel! They have done one craft fair and two more are scheduled! I am putting their info here as I know there are some of you that God will compel to come along side them---helping them to bring hope to the fatherless! As incentive, they are offering gifts for donations on their website! They have made some really cute things---Please check it out! Learn a bit more about them and their hearts for orphans.
Thank you!

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:40

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Money is often a touchy topic! With adoption...domestic or international...invariably the topic of money always comes up! It's usually pretty close to the first thing that folks want to know which is not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus tells us to count the cost before we move forward with any decision. Of course, He is talking, I believe, as much about the cost spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Perhaps, even counting the cost of NOT doing something is just as important.

Anyway, let's talk dollars and cents. Adoption is costly! Tens of thousands. More money than most of us have sitting in our accounts at any given time. But as I look back over our two adoption processes, I see how very different each was even with respect to funds. We know several families that have adopted more than two kiddos...some way more. Without a doubt, I'm sure God has given them unique "dollar-and-cent"stories and experiences each time thay have brought children home to their families. Mostly in the way their thinking has transformed over time!

When we began the adoption journey to Olivia, we knew what the estimated cost would be to bring her home. We had yard sales and that brought in some. We looked at several organizations that offered grants and applied. ....but were turned down. Not sure of all of the reasons, but we knew it would be us figuring out the funds. I applaud all of the families that do fundraising---it's tiring! Overwhelming at times but your heart and soul are poured into it. I do know some of that because two of our girls are in the throes making things to sell to raise support for an Africa mission trip
**[which will be my next post : ) ].

Looking back, however, I think God was testing us to see how serious we were about adopting. We knew He had called us. We applied and waited and waited. Three years passed from that first 'call' to a wake-up call. God began to stir our hearts to consider special needs children. That meant facing areas outside our comfort zone. I can tell you it wasn't easy! It forced me to look at all of the reasons I would answer "no"---for me, most were selfish reasons. Not proud of it...just being honest here! But thankfully, the Lord was working on my heart and my sweet husband's heart---transforming us little by little to a place of trust in Him with respect to waiting children. I'm so glad we didn't shut Him out. We got Olivia's referral while I was at a women's retreat---"When Life Happens". Funny, huh?!

Anyway, back to $$$. Lots of deadlines and expirations in paperwork. Each required more money for updates that also made us question , "What are we waiting for?" We don't have lots but we did have some stocks we sold to bring our sweet girl home. I see now how God was testing us to see if we were willing to give from our "reserve" for the fatherless. I'm oversimplifying the process for us! Believe me!

Fast forward two years. I've already shared the struggles with respect to expanding our comfort level with respect to special needs in an earlier post. Totally God's working that led us to our Shane. But, the money! I have to say we kind of knew what was expected monetarily. We seemed to be able to cover most of the initial payments since they didn't all come at once(whew)! However, when we began to expedite the process because of Shane's heart needs, I can honestly say that we didn't think about how quickly the payments would need to come together---in a short span with travel, etc. You other AP's know exactly what I mean! The thought crossed my mind in December as we were receiving our PA and thinking about the travel timeframe possibilities---where will it come from? I'm not even sure if I actually prayed and asked the Lord at that time time to direct us as to what to do. We were so involved in the decision to move forward--talking with docs and discussing with other experienced parents, etc. Then, of course, the holidays and our older children coming, us traveling as well.

THEN...it happened. One of those surreal things that you see happen to others but not yourself. We had a visit from friends---an ordinary holiday-type of visit. Bringing cookies and cards to share the joy of Jesus birth. We talked a few minutes---exchanged Christmas plans and then said goodbyes. Shortly after, Josiah and I were admiring and sampling the goodies and reached to open the card. As I did, a check fell out! It was one of those moments that slowed down and felt as if I were in a fog. A check? Why would there be a check in this? But I turned it over and looked! Overwhelming! Unbelievable! Stunning! Then I crumbled in tears...honestly not knowing how to receive this substantial blessing. Humbled...knowing that only God could have called this family to help so sacrificially. The card explained it all...a testament to God's great love for this little boy we had chosen to call our son! A card that is preserved to show him how very much God orchestrated His plan to bring him here.

Then again, just a week later...a family member did almost the very same thing! We were astonished! Blessed beyond words...both times...to see that God was preparing us in ways we had not considered because we had been focused more on Shane's health and trying to get him home. Tom and I talked while traveling home from our Christmas trip about how much more money was needed. I calculated as best I could and it came within $50 dollars of what we had been blesssed with. Tom's response? "I thought so!" WOW!

Please understand...I do not say this to boast. I KNOW there are other families that have similar adventures on their adoption journeys! I believe there are others that are considering adoption--or a second adoption-- and have had these same concerns. Just ask one you know! Unwittingly, Tom and I had left the details to God.
What is the take-away in this? :

"The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."
1 Thes 5:24

Let Him alone be glorified!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Article 5!!!!

Our Article 5 was issued today! Only TA left to come! Yay!
Hoping to see that next week!


Well...our paperwork indeed went to the Consulate...however, our son's name was not complete on the letter : (

But I called and was able to speak with a supervisor who took it immediately to the "writing" department and they sent me a corrected one within the hour : ) !

Good news is that it is daytime in Ch*na and, hopefully, somone works these cases on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Immeasurably More….

Over the next few days, I would like to share how God has miraculously blessed our family while preparing us to meet our new son! We hope you will be blessed in knowing how very much our Heavenly Father loves you and I... to tend to the intricate details of our lives that He might be glorified!

Earlier this month, an adoptive family that we met over the bloggy-world and became friends with just returned from bringing home their precious little girl. This was their fourth adoption and sixth child. This mother was the one who “introduced” us---if you will---to Shane. You see, her oldest daughter was in the same orphanage as Shane and also has a special heart so she felt compelled to advocate for him. Over the next few weeks, she and her husband were very gracious to answer our many questions and hold us in prayer as we listened for God’s direction. They were also the first to rejoice with us at our decision to bring Shane into our family!

While they were in Ch*na, they were taking their children back to their respective provinces to visit, hopefully receive pieces to their past, and gain some understanding of who they were and are. It was just before that trip that we began to share with each other about the possibilities of seeing our little boy should they visit the CWI. To completely understand the impossibility in the natural of this happening, would take understanding the place where he is and the people that serve there. Let’s just say, it’s a difficult place with a complex infrastructure…

Anyway, my new friend and I agreed to pray HARD for their visit…for answers for their daughter and a “sighting” of Shane. I'm not sure either of us were prepared for the answer we received. We serve a great, big God and He showed up in a very big way for both of us : ).

Here are some pieces of what she sent to us:

“…And there he was Susie! He was sitting on the floor and it was interesting b/c a lot of the children started getting excited when they saw us …[the director] went to the door and called him and he immediately got up. So he knows his name for sure. They call him by his middle name, doubled. Almost sounded like So-So but with more of a Z mixed with the S. A hard initial sound…

Anyway, he comes over…I was finally able to talk to him and I told him you all were coming soon. He did look sad and soulful to us. I know this is going to sound strange, but it is almost like he knew…

On his health, I looked really intently at his fingertips, and they looked GREAT!!! They were not clubbed or blue. AT ALL….His lips looked pinker than I expected they would. It did seem to me like his breathing was a wee bit labored. Kind of faster than we might breathe, but he did not look like he was in distress. He was walking really well and steady…

He let me hug him and just was the sweetest little thing. …I KNOW that her allowing us to see him and calling him out of the room so I could touch him and hold him is VERY RARE…He looks just like the photo you have except his hair is longer.

She did ask me when are you all coming and I told her you are waiting on the Chinese paperwork at the moment. She said, "Oh, hopefully soon." I told her once that is sent, you will travel in 4-6 weeks. She said they are very happy he has a family, and they just found out a few days ago.

I am just so thankful it worked out for us to see him and touch him and hold him and tell him you are on the way…”

I know there is no way to thank this family for allowing God to use them and direct them as He did...but we are so grateful! We were blessed beyond measure to have all of these wonderful updates! AND to know our friend actually got to hold him and whisper that we would be there soon!!! Not too many days until we will have him in our arms : )

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

On to the Consulate : )

After praying with Olivia for favor at the NVC, I called for the third time last night. The woman at the NVC heard my plea and answered my questions...I thanked her for listening and just as we were to hang up, she asked me to hold. She came back with a promise to have it to us by today! Yay! Thank you, God! Our agency will continue to expedite for us so Article 5 could come in 1-2 days rather than weeks!!! Next, TA from Ch*na who has been very supportive with respect to expediting. So early to mid-March is looking good!!! God knows the best time!

One step closer, Little Man!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Our I800 was overnighted to NVC this past Thursday and then cabled to Guangzhou on Friday : ) !!

Now just "knocking" on the doors of NVC to get an email copy to me ASAP!!

Why is that so difficult?!?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Half the Sky

A great article by Jane Pauley for Valentine's Day on NBC's Today Show features the difference one person can make in the lives of children....and it doesn't matter what age you are! This is how "Half the Sky" was born!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our declaration by FAITH!

Not long ago, God brought the story of Matt Hammitt, of Sanctus Real, across our path. His son was born with a "special" heart like our little man. His cd, Every Falling Tear, was the outpouring of his heart before the Lord--the questions, the fears, the hopes. Ultimately, their family's desire was that God would be glorified in their journey, and others would be encouraged and touched by their candid willingness to share their faith walk with the world! If you want to catch their story, you can at http://bowensheart.com/

We so appreciate this and know God is indeed glorified!

I hope you enjoy this song that speaks to our hearts and reminds us, that no matter what may come, Shane is in His most capable hands and, because of His love, he deserves our love!


This is the first picture we saw of our little guy....

....and we just knew God was calling us to bring him into our family!

His referral pictures :)

And an updated photo of him....
Introducing............Shane Zhi Suo Walrond

Our family is in awe of how God has moved mountains on his behalf and blessed us beyond measure! Details to come! May God be glorified !

We are praying for a March travel date to bring our little man home where he belongs :)

"I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel,
who summons you by name."
Isaiah 45:2-3